DRESSING THE DOG
Chapter 13 (Part Two)
We said goodbye to Texas and fell asleep in our carseats as we headed toward New Mexico. Several hours later we woke up… “Are we there yet?” We all wanted to know. “No,” Mummy replied. “We are still in Texas. Go back to sleep.” Hours later we woke up needing to potty, only to discover that we would be “going potty” in Texas… because WE WERE STILL IN TEXAS!!! MY GOSH! Would this state EVER END??? Eventually, like 8 hours later, we reached the state line. Hallelujah!!! Here are the top 5 things that I learned about Texas:
1. Texas is REALLY BIG. I mean HUGE!
2. There’s a LOT of land in Texas where nothing and nobody lives, so when someone tells you that the United States is overcrowded, I can show them some land in Texas where they can live all alone.
3. In those un-crowded places with no signs of life, there is also NO cell service and NO Facebook connection… so bring a good book to read, just saying.
4. If you start to smell oil burning, it might not be your car overheating… which is actually a good thing.
5. There are LOTS of OIL WELLS in Texas, so if you move here and buy some land… try and get some with at least ONE oil well on it!
The drive across Texas had been a long one… too long. Mummy and Daddy had really goofed up when planning the driving part of this BIG ADVENTURE, but it was too late now to change it. We were spending the better part of the day in the truck, and only one day at each location. They had gotten a little “over excited” about this first real trip in our AIRSTREAM and were trying to see EVERYTHING in 6 weeks. When YOU plan YOUR trip…don’t do what we did!!!
We made it to New Mexico and got settled into our campsite where we would be staying for the next few days. After sleeping late the following morning, we headed over to Roswell, New Mexico to get to the bottom of all this UFO stuff that we had been hearing about. We saw plenty of spaceships and green aliens in front of businesses, but nothing weird happened. Not a single thing! No lights in the sky, no strange sounds, nobody’s eyes were glowing yellow… I mean NADA, ZILCH!!! I gotta tell you, I was a little disappointed. Not that I wanted one of my sisters to be abducted or anything like that… but I was sort of hoping for an ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION. I had my little camera ready and everything. Mummy and Daddy had plans to see Carlsbad Caverns and doggies were not allowed in the caves. To tell you the truth, that didn’t really sound like something that I wanted to do anyway so we would chill out at the trailer while they toured the cave. Later they were going to stay and watch a kazillion BATS fly out of the cave in search of dinner. HOLD ON NOW! That sounded interesting!!! We were told that doggies were definitely not allowed at the “BAT SHOW” because bats were afraid of dogs and they would get their bat senses all out of kilter if they smelled a dog at the show, or something whacky like that. Whatever. Now that I thought about it more, I seemed to recall that DRACULA was a bat and I wasn’t sure this thing was safe for ANYONE to attend!!! In the end, we stayed behind and our parents brought us back a souvenir stuffie “toy bat”… so everyone was happy.
Before we knew it, it was time to fold up and head to the next campsite. Our parents had this down to a science by now. Daddy did all of the outside stuff, Mummy took care of the inside stuff and the four of us sat on the sofa and watched. We were VERY GOOD and knew better than to get in the way. In less than an hour we were securely fastened into the carseat in the backseat of the truck and headed further west. We had more Facebook friends to meet in Albuquerque and then we were headed to Arizona. As we made one of the many stops that we would need to make to fill the truck with gasoline, Mummy spied the coolest red stagecoach parked along the side of the gas station. PHOTO OP! Daddy rolled his eyes but I know he was thinking that it WAS SORT OF COOL, so he helped get us set up inside the stagecoach so that Mummy could take her picture. While we were posing, Mummy felt the presence of someone behind her and turned to find a group of women bikers… HARLEY BIKERS… watching this process and also taking our picture!!! It turns out they were members of the WOMEN’S FREEDOM RIDE and they were riding across America raising money to build a house for a wounded female veteran… and they LOVED DOGGIES!!! They have a Facebook page if you are interested in donating to their cause like we did! Once we were back on the highway, we were lulled back to sleep by the sound of the tires on the road… until we heard Mummy call out, “OH MY GOSH… TAKE THIS EXIT!” And in 30 minutes, that was how we found ourselves “standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.” Even Daddy agreed that it was a pretty cool photo-op and we needed to get out and stretch our legs anyway. This was the great part about traveling in a trailer… you could just stop whenever you wanted… or whenever something caught Mummy’s eye, which happened a LOT! In the beginning, Daddy was willing to stop, later he would only pull off the road so she could take a picture from the truck, as the trip progressed he would slow down enough to take a picture while still moving… and finally, he barely slowed down at all and she risked life and limb by hanging out the window and prayed that at least one shot would be in focus. Even crying couldn’t get Daddy to stop by the end of the day…she tried…unsuccessfully. If you ask me, his attitude could use a little improving, but I was strapped into my carseat so I just kept my mouth shut and waited for the next potty break… hoping that he didn’t make us do THAT out of the window with the truck still moving!!! More of our Facebook friends would meet up with us while we toured around Arizona and this was one of the nicest parts of our trip… finally meeting our Facebook friends in PERSON! Many of them bought one of our cookbooks too, which really made us really happy because we donate part of every sale to a RESCUE GROUP, so that doggies like Tulip can find a forever home. We didn’t have time to say “Jack Sprat” before we were packing it in and heading for… where WERE we headed? I had lost all track of time by now and Mummy was having to check our travel schedule daily because even SHE was having trouble keeping up with where we were on this trip. MAN… we had REALLY over-scheduled ourselves! We were enjoying the sights and all, but honestly, it was like “around the world in 80 days” and we were ALL tired after only a few weeks into the trip.
There were several big landmarks on our list to see, like The Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. The problem was that most of the big parks didn’t allow doggies on the walking trails for safety reasons… there are BEARS in those parks. We weren’t interested in doing any hiking and Daddy was still unwilling to use his chest harness to carry one of his “assigned” doggies, so most of our touring was done in the truck. There were plenty of pull-outs at the top viewing areas and we were able to get lots of nice pictures at those places. If a viewing area required walking down a path, one person would wait with us in the truck while the other went to see the sight… then they switched up. It took some time but Mummy said it was worth it just to be able to have to four of us with them. We were always on the watch for BEARS, even at our campsite, because signs were posted everywhere, but none of us was especially interested in having an up-close and personal encounter with one. Any time we went outside to potty, I have to tell you, I got a little antsy! My little heart was just hanging off a ledge… ready to STOP at the first GROWL from a bear! I did my business in record time and was ready to get back to the safety of the AIRSTREAM!!! Mummy said she would get us a stuffed bear toy as a souvenir of our stay here, but that would be the only bear we wanted to play with. We were acquiring new toys at an alarming rate and the trailer was getting a little cramped. So far we had Buckee Beaver, a chipmunk, Stella the bat from Carlsbad Cavern, a Palomino pony from the Alamo and an alien from Roswell, New Mexico. We were spending our last few nights in the western frontier and would soon be entering “civilization”… and by that I mean, CALIFORNIA! The Pacific Ocean was only a few days away and I was going to be able to put my paws into the cold surf and say that I had touched the oceans on BOTH SIDES of our country! Now honestly, how many little doggies can say that? After my first few weeks on the road I had learned that the most important thing about traveling is to keep an open mind and enjoy all of the wonderful new experiences that are waiting for you around every corner.
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